This is the story of how I turned a flash fiction story written in an hour for a Flash Fiction thing on Chuck Wendig's blog into a week-long writing residency in Exeter in the U.K. Chuck Wendig is the author of numerous books (buy Wonderers and thank me later) but I first encountered him as … Continue reading This is How a Flash Fiction Contest on Chuck Wendig’s Website Got Me a Playwriting Gig and Then a Writing Residency in England.
I'm a massive Raymond Chandler fanboy, though I only started reading him recently. And here's an example that shows exactly why I'm a massive Chandler fanboy. Half an hour and three or four cigarettes later a door opened behind Miss Fromsett's desk and two men came out backwards laughing. A third man held the door … Continue reading Just Raymond Chandler Describing a Man
I asked you about your favorite books on Twitter recently, and got more responses than I anticipated. About 955, as it turns out. https://twitter.com/johannthors/status/1161231619568676865?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw Here are the books that were mentioned most often (including quite a few that surprised me.) The Phantom TollboothEast of Eden & Grapes of WrathTo Kill a MockingbirdHouse of LeavesA Tree … Continue reading These Are Your Favorite Books
I got to spend a week in Exeter this summer, as the International Writer-in-Residence at the Quay Words literary festival. Part of the deal was to give a talk on Icelandic crime writing and at the end of that talk (which I may post here later) I told the audience about the books that most … Continue reading 5 Rather Excellent Noir Crime Books
It's Pirates of the Caribbean in Hell. It's the best horror story of the year for me so far, possibly one of my favorite horror stories ever. It has Hell-monks with iron boxes locked over their heads forever, pirate ships, cannibal cults and last and definitely not least, flying, ship-destroying angel-possessed giant squid. I am, … Continue reading This is the Best Pirate-themed Horror Story You’ll Read All Year
Nisar Masoon interviewed me for Literary Retreat a while back. They had some issues with their SSL certification but that's all fixed now and the interview is up. Some time passed between the interview and the publication so I was surprised to find the following (which, yes, are my words but I had forgotten them … Continue reading Talents With Typewriters
FINCH is one of my favorite books. I can't understand why it hasn't been made into a series, or why there aren't more people running through the streets, thrusting a copy of FINCH upon random strangers exclaiming "You need to read this!" Ok. That last one was maybe a bit much. It's about a detective, … Continue reading The Sublime Weirdness of Jeff Vandermeer’s FINCH
There's this friend you had in high school who you sometimes think about calling. You had some great times but drifted apart. You know the one? Well, in Max Booth III's Carnivorous Lunar Activities, Justin calls up his friend Ted, unknowingly stopping him from killing his wife in a murder-suicide. He tells Ted that he … Continue reading There’s a Werewolf in the Basement, Asking me to Kill It.
I was thumbing through my copy of Don't Panic: Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (a book on Douglas Adams written by Neil Gaiman!) and came across a great passage. It certainly made me feel a little better about my glacial writing pace. This is Douglas describing how the Restaurant at the … Continue reading How Douglas Adams wrote The Restaurant at the End of the Universe
What follow is a post, verbatim, from the Valancourt Books Blog, posted on Saturday, October 27, 2018 and reprinted here simply to help them get the word out. Between print books, Kindle e-books, and Audible audiobooks, these days Amazon accounts for at least 90% of our sales. Although our books are available on plenty of … Continue reading Valancourt Books Give Amazon an Earful